TOP NEWS: Democracy: July 16, 2012
- Obama Campaign Continues Attacks on Romney
- Romney to regain momentum, focus on Obama ‘political payoffs’
- Romney’s fundraising potential far from tapped
- Senate Democrats Seek Campaign-Finance Disclosure Vote
- Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws
Excerpts and More Top Stories
ELECTION 2012: No Apologies: Obama Campaign Continues Attacks on Romney
Michael D. Shear, NY Times - “My opponent and his allies in Congress, they believe in top-down economics,” Mr. Obama said. “If you cut through all the stuff, what they are really saying is tax cuts for the wealthy, roll back regulations. That is essentially their plan.”
Philip Rucker, Washington Post - Trying to shift the presidential campaign narrative away from his personal finances and tenure at Bain Capital. The Romney team will say that the president has been a “typical politician” and has demonstrated “systematic favoritism” toward top campaign fundraisers.
ELECTION 2012: Swing Voters Who Will Pick the President
Paul Begala, NEWSWEEK – The Electoral College means that if you live in California or New York or Illinois or Texas, -nearly a third of our population- your vote essentially doesn’t matter. I did the math so you won’t have to. The 4 percent who matter (in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado) is 916,643 people. That’s it.
ELECTION 2012: Pawlenty Might Balance Image of Romney as Elite
Jeff Zeleny, NY Times - After a short-lived presidential bid of his own last year, Mr. Pawlenty is again being considered for the Republican ticket. His fate is in the hands of Mr. Romney, a rival-turned-friend, who is on the cusp of announcing his vice-presidential selection. Mr. Romney may disclose his decision as soon as this week.
ELECTION 2012: Policy, Backstory Put Jindal on List
Sara Murray, WSJ - When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appears alongside Mr. Romney at a Baton Rouge fundraiser Monday, it will come as the rumor mill is churning about long-shot vice-presidential picks. Add Mr. Jindal to the list.
ELECTION 2012: Policy and the Personal
Paul Krugman, NY Times Opinion - A lot of people inside the Beltway are tut-tutting about the recent campaign focus on Mitt Romney’s personal history. Some are upset at any suggestion that this election is about the rich versus the rest, while others decry the personalization: why can’t we just discuss policy? Neither group is living in the real world. First of all, this election really is — in substantive, policy terms — about the rich versus the rest…
ELECTION 2012: Latest Word on the Trail? I Take It Back
Jeremy W. Peters, NY Times - They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name. Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.
ELECTION 2012: In Tracing Romney’s Role at Bain, a Convoluted Timeline
Nicholas Confessore and Michael D. Shearn, NY Times - The three-year sojourn in Utah has again become the source of controversy — but with the positions reversed. President Obama and the Democrats are questioning whether Mr. Romney really left Bain in February 1999, when he took over the Olympics. And Mr. Romney and the Republicans are insisting that he ended his day-to-day management role at Bain after taking the Olympics job.
ELECTION 2012: The Democrats play hardball
John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, POLITICO - President Barack Obama and congressional Democratic leaders enter the final stretch of the legislative year [...] They refuse to budge on the looming defense cuts and expiring Bush-era tax cuts.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Romney’s fundraising potential far from tapped: federal disclosures
Alina Selyukh and Alexander Cohen, Chicago Tribune - Of the big donors helping propel the fundraising of U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, fewer than 1 percent have hit the limit they can donate to his election bid, suggesting cash is likely to keep pouring in.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Senate Democrats to Seek Campaign-Finance Disclosure Vote
Kathleen Hunter, BLOOMBERG - “We’ve basically entered the Wild West of campaign finance,” said Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat. “The scale of the problem we face is enormous, and it is just corrosive on our democracy.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: John Boehner, the $80 million man
Jake Sherman, Politico - Boehner’s political team says the $79,220,330 he has raised this election cycle includes the money collected by his three fundraising arms, dollars brought in by the NRCC at events where Boehner appeared and contributions solicited from mailers with the speaker’s name on it.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE: Mitch McConnell dead wrong on DISCLOSE Act
Politico Opinion - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has launched a full-throated attack on the DISCLOSE Act, which Democrats are set to bring to the Senate floor on Monday. DISCLOSE supporters say it ensures transparency and accountability in U.S. elections. McConnell, however, contends it’s a vehicle for intimidation that will squelch political speech and let the Obama administration compile an “old-school enemies list” to punish critics. Central to McConnell’s opposition is that the bill is a lawless end run to get around the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
VOTER RIGHTS: Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws
Nate Silver, NY Times Opinion - The stricter voting laws, like those that require photo identification, seem to decrease turnout by about 2 percent as a share of the registered voter population. Whether this effect is deemed to be “statistically significant” or not varies from study to study.
VOTER RIGHTS: Voter-Fraud Drive Boosted in Florida
Devlin Barrett, WSJ – The Homeland Security Department has agreed to allow Florida officials to check a federal database to make sure non-citizens don’t vote in the state’s elections, a partial victory for Republicans in their battles with the Obama administration over voter-identification laws.
VOTER RIGHTS: U.S. to Let Florida Use Its Data for Voter Check
Michael Schwirtz, NY Times - The decision by the Department of Homeland Security, which came after efforts by the Obama administration to block access, was issued in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and made public on Saturday. Mr. Scott, along with the state’s Republicans, had been pushing for months to gain access to a database, maintained by the department, arguing that it would allow for a more accurate review of voter lists. This will prevent voter fraud by expunging what they say are thousands of ineligible noncitizens from voter lists.
VOTER RIGHTS: Suppressing the vote, state by state
LA Times Opinion- The evidence is overwhelming that recent photo ID laws are politically motivated. The integrity of the election process again has become a partisan issue. If the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney is a close one, look for the losing side to blame the outcome on either fraud or voter suppression. At this point the latter looks to be the bigger problem.
VOTER RIGHTS: Is Texas’ Voter ID Law Akin to a Poll Tax?
John M. Burns, Huffington Post - Speaking at the NAACP Convention earlier this week, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that he believes that Texas’ Senate Bill 14, which requires voters to show state issued photo identification when they head to the polls, is equivalent to a poll tax and indicated that the Justice Department “will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
VOTER RIGHTS: Disenfranchised Felons
NY Times editorial - The number of Americans who cannot vote because they have been convicted of a felony continues to grow. The Sentencing Project reported Thursday that in 2010 5.5 million voting-age citizens were disenfranchised because of their criminal records, up by 9 percent from 2004.
IMMIGRATION: Obama’s Next Immigration Battle: Local, Federal Authorities on Collision Course over Detention Requests
Adam Sorensen, TIME – The Obama Administration has discussed the possibility of suing a jurisdiction because it’s too lax in enforcing federal immigration priorities, a mirror image of the legal drama the Administration just went through with Arizona’s law, which the Supreme Court partially struck down in June.
Michael Cooper, NY Times - How well the new health care law succeeds in covering millions of the poorest Americans will depend largely on undecided governors of both parties, who gathered here this weekend and spoke of the challenges of weighing the law’s costs and benefits in a highly charged political atmosphere and a time of fiscal uncertainty.
Ylan Q. Mui, NY Times - In its annual survey, the nation’s largest private student lender found that undergraduates covered 30 percent of the cost of college themselves during the most recent academic year — the largest share in four years. They spent an average of $2,555 from their income and savings and took out $3,719 in loans, the report showed.
TECHNOLOGY: Surveillance Tools at Issue in Lawsuit
Chad Bray, WSJ - The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal court Tuesday as it seeks to force the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies to detail how often they use surveillance tools that capture the email addresses contacted, phone numbers called and websites visited by a person.